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Posted on 22nd October 2018
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Before you ask, no, this is not the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This report on Science Alert is about another oil leak, actually close to the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The leak has been consistently under-reported, has been deliberately covered up, and oil slicks from it have often been confused with those from the Deepwater Horizon. To make matters worse, the company responsible is now effectively bankrupt, and its founder dead.
Blocking the leaks seems impossible, and clean-up is not really happening. With the continuation of this spill, it is set to grow to be bigger than the Deepwater Horizon incident in the near future.
Beaches are affected. Scientists recommend that people do not eat fish from the area.
There are plans, at the US Federal level, to allow oil exploitation on the Atlantic coast of the USA, just to spread the joy, although state governments are trying to block those plans.
Do we really need oil enough to pay this kind of price? The planet should be phasing out the use of fossil fuels, not opening more oil fields.
The other important question is where is the Federal funding of the clean-up and repair (blocking the leaking wells)? There is a trust fund containing $450M, intended the cover the costs of any disasters (although the oil company has been attempting to recover these funds), but it is nowhere near enough. My opinion is that any additional funding should come from the US government. The oil leaks are not just polluting US waters, but the whole Gulf of Mexico, and wide afield (after all, the Gulf Stream originates there, and goes to the UK, Ireland, France, etc.).
When will governments start taking responsibility for the decisions (e.g. licensing oil exploration and exploitation in environmentally sensitive areas)? Maybe the EU and Caribbean nations need to sue the US government for damage to their environment.